October 29, 2006

Mind Magic: What Stems from Personal Interpretation

There is a certain segment of Scott Adams speech that I found that I could relate to. Coincidentally enough, I could also relate it to Communications. (Please suppress your groans, this is a topic that I am developing more and more interest in and simultaneously gaining more knowledge. This is good though, considering it is my minor.) Scott states:

"The amazing thing about these adventure games is, I still get fan mail from people that are playing them today, which just boggles my mind. But the game is still basically the same. I'm in a forest. I see trees. Everyone relates to that. You can relate to the picture. Later I put pictures in my games and made graphic versions of my games, and you know I got fan mail saying, "I liked the text better. My pictures look better than yours." Your mind gives a much better picture than the finest artist.

There is tremendous capability in the human mind. Now if I said I was in a bluh-bluh-bluh, that doesn't do anything. But we all know what a forest is and we all have certain expectations. The interesting thing is, your expectation of a forest and her expectation of a forest could be totally different. So the game's got to be aware of that.

The other thing was, I had to be aware of what the users might and might not say. Which was a very important part of getting a game ready was beta testing. Normally I would sit down, I would come up with a theme I wanted for a game. Old West, space, Count Dracula, whatever. I'd set my theme. I'd set my locations. And I'd start putting items in, and putting in puzzles. I'd get the game about two-thirds done and then I would stop.

The next one-third of the game literally came from the people I gave to to play the game. I'd watch how they played the game. I'd watch what they'd try to do with the items that I never thought they might try to do. [I said,] "Wow, what a good idea! I think I'll put that in the game." I literally did. So the games were written by the users."

Scott's statement expresses several things. For one, Scott expresses his understanding of the variations of the human mind. He understands that every player will have a different thought pertaining to objects and actions in his game. I found it most interesting when he stated about (Your) mind giving a much better picture than the finest artist. It was interesting to hear about the fan who said his pictures were better. They had to have been. Everyone imagines something to their own specifications and in their own contexts, thus the images they percieve, especially if they are ones that have been completely developed on their own, are going to be the "best" images. Scott understands this and in understanding this he understands the way his audience thinks. He then proceeds to tell us how the games were written by the users. Scott is using great communication skills here. He is developing his product based of the expectations and desires of his audience. Giving the games to others to play is a very smart move within the marketing/communications campaign portion of his product.

I think that is one thing that may be tough about IF. The inability to predict everything another person is going to attempt or say. There is no possible way. The only thing one can do is put the most obvious things in there and at the same time try to include some of the really out of the ordinary requests just in case. I think I am ready for another go at Interactive Fiction. Oddly (and eerily) enough, I'm kind of looking forward to it. (Gasp!)

Posted by Lori Rupert at 9:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2006

Interactive Fiction: Round Two

My first experience with Interactive Fiction wasn't a very pleasant one. Karissa agrees with me. This time, however, i found the software a little easier to work with. I guess working on it for a project and developing a game on my own tends to make one a little bit more skilled at the task they are trying to learn. I like it so much, in fact, that i decided to use it for my New Media Projects class as the basis for my first project. This time, since i was a little more familiar with the software, i actually managed to get somewhere with the game examples listed under the entry about Command Line Interface.

Speaking of Command Line Interface, I'm glad i didn't have to use such a program. It was almost too simple and it seemed to have very limited qualities. Also, if i got frustrated with IF so easily the first time, surely my feelings about Command Line Interface would not have been pleasant ones.

Anyways, here's a little recap of what happened when i tested the individual games/links. For the most part i played until i wasn't sure what to do (it didn't take long to run out of options, due to the simplicity of the older games).
The first software program i tried out was Eliza. I felt like i was mouthing off to Eliza and vice-versa. She seemed to come back with comments that were meant to be sarcastic or mean, but one must realize she really doesn't know the whole lot of what she is saying. Here is a recording of most of our conversation. I found the last lines to be the funniest part. This was where i generally stopped talking to her because she had started to repeat herself by this point. Remember that anything with a carrot in front of it is my words.

Hello.
How do you do. Please state your problem.
>> hi how are you?
Why are you interested in whether I am or not ?
>> i love my boyfriend
Your boyfriend ?
>> yes
You seem to be quite positive.
>> i am
Is it because you are that you came to me ?
>> sure
Earlier you said your boyfriend .
>> yes, my boyfriend
You are sure.
>> yes i am sure
I see.
>> i see too
You say you see too ?
>> yes i see too
I understand.
>> do you really understand?
We were discussing you -- not me.
>> well let's discuss you.
Oh, I ?
>> yes, you.
You seem to be quite positive.
>> i am postive
How long have you been postive ?
>> for eigtht years
I'm not sure I understand you fully.
>> for eight years
Please go on.
>> and then this one time i was typing to a computer
Do computers worry you ?
>> just you.
You're not really talking about me -- are you ?
>> yes i am talking about you
You are sure.
>> i am sure
Do you believe it is normal to be sure ?
>> sometimes
What does that suggest to you ?
>> that you are a computer
Why do you mention computers ?
>> because you are one
Is that the real reason ?
>> yes that is the real reason
I see.
>> do you really see?
What are your feelings now ?
>> that i hate you
Perhaps in your fantasies we hate each other.

I laughed so hard when i read her response to "that i hate you." I then told her maybe in your dreams we hate each other, at which point her comments became repetitive.

Colossal Cave Adventure
kind of confused me and didn' t really interest me but i was trying to figure out what to type and i decided to type "kill bird." I'm not really sure why, but it actually worked. (see below).

>kill bird
The little bird is now dead. Its body disappears.

After that, i decided to try and kill the house, just for the heck of it. Well, the game was quite funny when I typed in that command. (Again, see below).

>kill house
What do you want to kill the house with?

>hands
I've known some strange people, but fighting a white house?

As far as Galatea goes, I am not sure i really understand what Galatea is. From the questions i asked her and her mention of carving and looking for her artist, I'm thinking maybe she is a random statue sitting on a pedestal? But that is odd. I am (was) interacting with a stone statue? And she was said to have personality? Hmm....Anyways, i ran out of stuff to ask her as well, but the tastes of these games were a little bit more substantial than they were last time. It kind of excites me to be working with the program again.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 8:07 PM | Comments (3)

October 25, 2006

Joining the Wikipedians: I edited Wikipedia

I was a little bit hesitant about making any large changes to Wikipedia. Alot of the topics on there aren't ones that i am extremely familiar with. I didn't want to make a change in the information, only to have it not be correct. Usually, I am looking at a site of some sort to receive information, which, depending on the content and where it came from, i usually assume to be true. Here, on Wikipedia, i can't exactly determine what is true and what is not because all of the information is accesible to editing via the public voice. I was scanning through articles and i clicked on "energy drink"

Under the criticism section in this article, there was a paragraph in which i noticed grammatical errors. It read: "Parents' groups have criticised energy drinks as being irresponsibly marketed to youth, citing possible health hazards (see below), but to date very few fatalities have been reported from overconsumption of energy drinks."

The places i have bolded, "criticised" and "but to date" are the parts that i changed. I fixed the spelling of criticized, changing the 's' to a 'z' and i added a comma after "but to date". I probably should have made a new sentence, putting a period after the parentheses. I didn't though. I'm not sure why; i do think it sounds fine when there is a comma placed after "but to date."

Although it is a simple topic, i was interested to see what Wikipedia had to say about Journalism. I read through the page containing information about the subject and it all seemd to be right on topic. As i was moving down the page though, i noticed that the entire page had been published twice but on the same page. The sections, overview, terms and structure, inverted pyramid, and feature style, were all listed twice. So, i went into edit mode and i deleted the repeated information, providing a cleaner looking, less confusing version of the page.

I am thinking that since my edits were minor and actually fixed mistakes, they probably won't be changed or fixed, and surely my page won't be deleted as Paul's was.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

Ex. 6: You User, You.

As Rachel mentioned on her blog, i had trouble finding people's websites as well. I, along with Karissa, was not in class on Monday. I wasn't sure which site of ours we were supposed to upload (although it doesn't matter because i have to figure out why you can't see mine). However, i did look at Karissa's site, and Rachel's site, because these were the only two that i found links to.

On Rachel's site, i found tons of information that i would want if i were planning to go to Pittsburgh to "see the sights." All of her links led me to brightly colored, and decorated, homepages of the places she had described. I also liked the blurbs she put with the links, describing the atmosphere of the bars a little bit. While i don't think her site on its own, as she asked, really makes me want to go out and try these places, i do think it is very helpful to have all of the information in one place. Not only that, but also the information Rachel provides in the blurbs. Her site would be an in between. One would go there, and then click on the links to the main sites. I like everything on Rachel's site, however i think the layout could use a little bit of rearranging. Remember our good design/bad design exercise from Print Communication, Rachel. Use that. I think there is too much space around the picture, or maybe it is too big, and that kind of distracts from the rest of the site. Also Rachel, you could try incorporating one more color. Maybe make the actual links themselves different colors than the blurb text. That would make them standout. I think it just needs some tweaking, but so far, this page is awesome. Informative, good background research, and geared to two different audiences. Good job Rachel!

Karissa had also posted her link to her website, so i looked over this one as well. I was really impressed with Karissa's site. The language she used was easy to understand and flowed well enough when i read through it. Also, i really like the effect she used for the letters (Ad-Sense). Also, i loved the picture links, the pictures were very cute and portrayed a general idea of what the following page was going to look like. I liked the background info in the beginning about memory and the descriptions of the different types. I also like that each page off of the picture had a different look to it. They were all comparable and similar in their content and the design as a whole, but i liked the different stagger techniques Karissa implemented in regard to the pictures. One thing i also caught that i really liked, the copyright on the bottom is a link to a page that describes Diana and Karissa. That was a really cool way to make sure that people could find out who you were if they dug deep enough. Also, she chose some very eye-catching pictures.
As far as the navigation goes, i really liked how it was set up. It was easy to follow. The only thing i suggest is to add a button on each page that takes you back to the main page. Hitting the back button wasn't that difficult, but it may not be simple enough for some web audiences. The information was just enough to explain to me a little bit about each ad. It didn't reach the point where i wanted to stop reading. Also, you chose interesting things to write about. I don't know the Kool-Aid man was the star of an Atari game. That's awesome. I really didn't have any problems with your site. The only thing i suggest is the button to the main page. This would improve usability, i think. I definitely feel more knowledgeable about these popular products and the background information on them. Also a great job, Karissa!

Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2006

Wiki-Wiki-Wiki-NO, it's not a record scratch...It's Wikipedia!

I hope to avoid verbal lashing and blog fisking, but i am going to say this anyways: I don't really see a use....or a need, for Wikipedia. The site may be innaccurate, as John Seigenthaler shows us in his editorial. Also, don't forget the text Dr. Jerz quoted on the course website: "Mr. Wales said that he gets about 10 e-mail messages a week from students who complain that Wikipedia has gotten them into academic hot water. "They say, 'Please help me. I got an F on my paper because i cited Wikipedia'".

I should say that a college student should be aware not to use Wikipedia due to its lack of scholarly peer-reviewed articles. I know that in my Literature courses, the professors stressed to us (students) not to use Wikipedia because of its unknown amount of innaccuracy. Yes, of course it is innaccurate. Anyone, (and their mother) can post whatever they wish to Wikipedia and/or edit text of their choosing. Does anyone know if people put actual research into their entries? Does anyone really check the facts and if so, do they really correct them? What is the point of other people submitting if the editors are going to have to fix everything? Why don't the editors just do it themselves?

Wikipedia cannot be used for academic articles, what can it be used for? Quotes? Comparisons? (Maybe) It is just a bunch of information online that random people have thrown together. I doubt any of the entries are actually in their original form due to editing by the editor and other online users. I just really don't see a point. Why does the site exist? I don't really see a need for it. Karissa loves it...and I'm not beating her down for that. To each their own. I just don't understand why she loves it. I definitely hope this topic of Wikipedia "usefullness" comes up in class. I really would like to hear why other people enjoy the site, because i personally can't find a reason for its existence.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:24 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2006

Seib 6: Matt Drudge, Fisk-er Extrordinaire

For those who are familiar with EL236: Writing for the Internet, you are also familiar with the term fisking, and Karissa Kilgore's entry about it. Karissa quotes on her entry, "fisking: n. [blogosphere; very common] A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment. See also MiSTing, anti-idiotarianism found via David M." To me, it seems like good ol' Drudge is a fisker. As quoted in Seib, "Unconstrained by the practices of journalism, he presents entertaining, if sometimes nasty and not always accurate, stories. He writes about people while only occasionally seeking comment from them." So while he doesn't pick on people's writing, tearing it apart, he often tears them apart.

Moving on to the actual topic, Ethics, i think that it has been a journalist's job and a long-standing expectation of journalists to provide the truth. Yes, sometimes they provide stories that may be hurtful to certain readers or celebrities, companies, whatever, but those stories are verified and true. Thus, they are news. Which is also part of a journalist's job: to report the news. Whatever sort it may be. Speed should not bypass these ethics. Although this is difficult for me to swallow, seeing as how Drudge often gets the first views and thus the first opinions, i still think a journalist should hold accuracy over speed. This is one of the main points of their job. It is a bit disappointing that the public believes Drudge, especially when he may be disagreed with by a journalist's publication. If Drudge is continually proven wrong and has the unreliable reputation, why do people believe him? I can't answer that. But i can say that i hope when a reader encounters the truth, via a researched, verfied journalistic article, they at least question their belief in Drudge's relating story.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 12:08 AM | Comments (3)

October 22, 2006

Tog Toggles (his words).

I suppose i can make this blog entry similar to a "nice" usability report. Tog was very informative in his response. The text was chunked and bolded nicely, and the segmented look of the piece made for easy reading. Also, the language and examples Tog used provided for an easy understanding of the revisions he was suggesting.

Hopefully, since the article centers on usability, Tog has represented a proper version of his suggestions so that the [name withheld] may understand them enough to impliment them. Oops, i forgot to mention i was moving into the "criticism" segment. Well, i do agree with Karissa, Tog did seem to be throwing off the air of a hypocrite, especially with this statement, "(Note: The above is not a license to abandon blue text for links. Unless you have a really sparse site aimed at professional users, where image is more important than productivity, you must stick with blue underlined text.)" I don't really think it is very nice for Tog to assume he can direct me in this way. His entire argument in general seemed to have a confrontational tone. Maybe it did teach a lesson, but it also makes one wonder, why should I listen to someone who is doing exactly what i did? Why is it wrong when I do it?

On the subject of emulation, trying to emulate another writer's style is a very difficult task. Usually, the outcome is silly and completely unrelated to either the original author or the emulator. it doesn't really teach you anything. It is a fun excercise, but i think it is most useful when implimented as a learning technique. We all have voices, as we have been learning in hot text. We should be striving to develop those voices and make them heard. Having them be unique to us will (hopefully) make them stand out more among the crowds. Get your owns style. It can grow and change as you wish. Emulation will trap you within the constrains of a stranger's style. We are all different. We were born different for a reason. Embrace it. Be unique. Okay, i sound like a make love, not war, tie-dye wearing, peace-supporting hippie.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

Usability testing: Communications Anyone?

Okay, so maybe i am on some sort of sick, twisted communications rant, since i have been mentioning the subject on my blog with a fiercely progressing speed. However, i related usability testing to communications. Let me first say though that i do agree with Karissa's relation of the subject to a draft. I am also a writer. My mind won't let me forget this fact.

Maybe it was just the first line of Dr. Jerz's article that kept communications on my mind the entire way through.

"The first rule of writing is "know your audience.""

As a communications professional, it is imperative to "know your audience." Not knowing can lead to a misdirected campaign, resulting in unwanted results or no results at all. This same rule, as Dr. Jerz states, relates to writing as well. The tie-ins here are obvious: Writing is a form of communication, thus (probably) the reason the "rules' coincide so much.

Usability testing reminds me of the background/secondary and primary research stages of a communications campaign. Within the background or secondary stage, one collects information about their target audience from other sources, other people, etc. Within the primary research stage, one collects information directly from the audience themselves. There are various ways this technique may be applied. There are surveys and such, for example, and also various sorts of "focus groups" where information is collected from a small segment of a perceived target audience. Usability testing seems like it could be applied to communications as one of the research techniques. Really, for a program or product, the only way to relay information is to test out the product.

However, when Dr. Jerz discusses usability testing, he is talking about the testing happening from the very first time a website is produced. It seems as though he is saying a website should be "tested" after each revision. As a writer, journalist, and communications professional, i understand. It is key in making sure you are communicating with the public or a specified audience.

Within communications, i see the technique being applied more to something that is already in existence. For instance, somebody wants to revamp their website, okay, let's make it into a campaign goal. One of the ways to research a better website would be to have target audiences interact with what is already present. I suppose though, if the campaign goal was to expand the customer base, buidling a website may be one of the objectives, which would then be tested to determine how effective it is.

Ultimately, usability testing is a great idea, and a tactic i feel i am already familiar with (at least, with learning about it.) I think though, like any communications tactic, usability testing must be circumstantial to the audience, the goal, the rough objectives, etc. In order for usability testing to work, it must be applied in the right atmosphere, with all the right surrounding circumstances.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2006

Meme Mia!

I agree with Karissa, holy memes! When i first started reading (Meme)X Marks the Spot:Theorizing Metablogging via "Meme" and "Conduit", i had thought the reading was going to be "dry and rather long" as Jeremy had said on the course website. The more i kept reading, the more interesting things i kept coming across that i could either relate to thoughts in my head or thoughts i had already shared on the blogosphere. I actually found the text to make sense, while also providing me with some educational reading which I (think) I retained.

Before i start, in order to help refine my thoughts a little bit, and maybe as a bit of a refresher for my readers, i would like to discuss both "meme" and "conduit" using their context within the text of the article, and their given definitions and descriptions to form my own thoughts and examples which (hopefully) resemble that which was actually stated by Dawkins and Reddy.

Richard Dawkins described a meme: "a "meme" is a bit of cultural information that exists in the brain. Successful memes spread from brain to brain through any means available to humans (speech, writing, independent observation, etc.)." When Dawkins discusses the "apparent powerlessness when memes seem to inhabit our brain against our will" I think of the certain things that are drilled into people's heads. Expectations about a certain class or race, degrading terms "classifying" a race; these things invade my mind even when i don't want them to. I think this exists with everyone. Although i will never use or act or even contemplate the meaning or use of certain words, my mind does form judgements upon seeing people. I do not let this stop me from getting to know the person, but certain characteristics of them automatically cause my mind to draw conclusions based on observation alone. The difference between myself and other people who experience these observation based thoughts is that i don't listen to them. I don't classify and then determine whether or not to interact with that person. I am pretty good about giving people a chance despite what my internal voices are saying. Another thing i consider a meme is the popular connotation of "dumb blonde."

Michael J. Reddy observes certain terms within the communications of English speaking people, he defines these as the "conduit metaphor." My favorite example of this that he presents is: "We "put" words into ideas." This is a difficult process sometimes, putting words into ideas, but it helps me get the geist of what Reddy is saying. From observing the examples, it seems like these key terms make every instance into some sort of an action.

The "conduit metaphor" can be implemented in two ways. One is more direct, the communicator assembles a "package" containing their ideas and then transmits it to the receiver who determines a meaning. The other, a communicator releases thought (words, ideas, etc.) but doesn't necessarily direct them to anyone. Rather, they are simply "out there" and may or maybe not be received and interpreted by an audience.

Dawkins conclusion of these metaphors, "separate ideas that reinforce each other and are found together so often their association seems natural" kind of reminded me of of life, and people in general. People could be considred conduit metaphors. We are all separate (ideas) that agree (reinforce) with each others ideas, and those with the same ideas are often grouped together and because they have the knowledge, false or not, if enough of them agree, it is seen to some as natural.

The description pertaining to Bush's memex, "the very idea of a database that is not institutional, but personal, tailored to the specific, evolving needs of an individual research..." made me think of the internet. Although google isn't a very tight, concise search engine, it is personal, in a sense. It can be tailored (typing in different search words/key words) and possibly kept on a parallel level with evolvement. The user can change their key words as many times as they want, with as much added specificity as desired.

I was suprised to receive a description of the rhetoric of hyperlinks. "Yet another way to shade the value of a hyperlink is to use affirming, meaning-laden keywords to link to a supporting view (e.g. a modifier like "convincing" or a phrase like "Nielsen's latest article") and dismissive or meaning-free words ("drivel" or "this") to link to the opposition. The ability to recognize the rhetoric of hyperlinks is an important component of web literacy." I didn't know their was a distinction between linking to a supporting view, or linking to the opposition. I know that linking is an important concept and must be done carefully and with tact, but i didn't know there was such a solid definition for "supporting view" links and "opposing view" links.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2006

El405: My first project

I believe, on a general standpoint, one understanding of the Catholic Social Teaching is equal opportunity. Fair treatment for the various colors and sexualities we have present here at SHU. I think this game would have a more solid base if it were an interactive fiction game. It would have a single character, probably of a different race, who was accepted into several other minority categories. The person would be able to walk around and experience the lives of different minorities and races, and also classes. The player will hopefully be able to make a distinction among the various lives they "play" in: We are all the same, people, despite physical differences and we all have hardships and tribulations, although they may be in a different way. A really big thing for me is giving other people a chance, and i think it is important for one to determine the amount of equality present among the varying classes, etc, we have in the world. Here at Seton even. We have a diverse population, which is a great thing, but there is still people out there who need to understand physical differences don't necessarily mean attitude differences, mental or emotional differences.

I am not exactly sure what a goal will be for this game, but i think the main idea is to enable a character to develop several personas and experience a situation in a different way due to their physical differences.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

Exploring a Video Game Software Survey (Course)

New Media Projects has been a challenge for me. As one will view within my blogs, both Interactive Fiction and The Games Factory 2 (TGF2) both frustrated me Flash Journalism was more of my kind of thing, and chances are, my Project will end up being in that medium. But for now, a taste of the frustration....among other things.

All in all (And On-time (ish))

An entry pertaining to materials and topics covered on each day spent in EL 405

**Koster and i agreed on the subject of boredom.

**Again, i relate to Koster. This time, the subject is Video Games and their relevance to the category of "art."

**Initially, i had decided Interactive Fiction wasn't my cup of tea. Now that i understand and can operate the program used to produce it, I'm a little more receptive to it.

**Darby- I still don't like it.

**Flash is Flashy: It's what I like!

How low (Deep) can you go?

**I think i had some interesting insight and points on the topic of Video Gaming vs Art and what exactly was comparable or definable between the two.

**I case-studied the Washington Post...Fun, and informative, the entry also is my richly linked blog entry.

Richly Linked Blog entry

**Again, my richly linked blog entry: A Flash Journalism phenomenon.

Interactions and discussions

**While i may not have sparked any creative discussions on peer blogs with my comments, nor had them spark any on my blogs, i did review the other blogs and their respective comments. Here, i agreed with Karissa, although in my own separate blog entry.

**Chris and Dr. Jerz both commented on my statement of Flash being the easiest program we have learned thus far.

Xenoblogging has provided a problem for me since i am also behind in the knowledge of these gaming programs. I feel that i am struggling at an equal pace with everyone else, but unfortunately, my struggling has not enabled me to help out any of my peers.

WiLd

My voice is a virtue. It's evolving.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 4:31 PM | Comments (0)

Online Writing: The Development of a New Segment of my Writing Voice

Writing for the Internet has proved to be a very influential class for me. My swiftness with HTML has increased, along with my understanding of the coding, and Price, with his Hot Text, has helped me develop my online writing persona (voice, if you will).

The masses

An entry for each topic, often with samplings of my peers blogs, my in depth opinions, and connections to other blogs or readings.

**Have you ever googled your own name? I did.

**While I mostly went on a tangent about my dislike for emoticons, this entry also includes my personal biography of my writing and the effect technology has had on it.

**A case of a plagarist: What would you do?

**My beliefs are still solid: Instill values in your children that enable them to avoid online danger.

**When seeking comfort is selfish. For an agenda item, this entry produced a little discussion between Dr. Jerz and several of my classmates. A student confides in a professor about a personal situation. Is this situation supposed to be looked at as a bad thing?

**HTML is not new to me. While i found Castro's book interesting, i had very little to say about what i was actually learning from it. It was more of a review/refresher/strengthener.

**Do you know what a myspace is? Danah Boyd has her interpretation, and i have mine.

**How much knowledge should an employer be able to access about you? How much privacy does one have a right to?

**OW! That text is HOT! (Or not so hot). Hot Text: The various chapters, contradictory styles, and online writing techniques.

**I found a scientist right here.

**Fisking is no good. Tisk, Tisk, why did you fisk, fisk

Deep into the Depth

Sometimes i got a little philosophical (okay, angry) about the readings, but either way, i presented some information and often related it to other chapters, other blogs, or other classes.

**Although there wasn't any links out of this entry, i liked the ability the excercise gave me to examine myself in depth.

**I had alot of thoughts about Laura K. Krishna and her supposed act of plagarism. This entry has several quotes to outside sources, and several quoted passages from the readings themselves. My findings are presented in a structured sense of one person, then the other, and then i tie the two together.

**Again, although there are no links to outside sources, i examined Danah Boyd's article and presented my opinions in a segmented manner.

**I feel strongly about a persons privacy and also about how a person should be judged. Which speaks louder? Actions or words?

**Although we were only supposed to include quotes from Hot Text, I really went into detail and expressed my views on Chapters 14, 15, and 16.

Richly Linked Blog Entry

**I really enjoyed doing this entry. I compared the contradictions i had found in Hot Text and I related them to myself and what i was experiencing: The About-Face of Objectivity.

Interaction

**Relating to Hot Text Chapters 5&6, I commented on Karissas "Text Dumpling" entry and her relation of the Hot Text topics to Journalism. It was agreeable with my thoughts and it stemmed my richly linked blog entry.

**On Erin's blog, i commented on her interpretation of the Bush article and "mindless robots."

**I was observing other blogs and noticed Rachel and I had chosen the same quote: "Writers don't start genres, audiences do." I commented on her entry, including a brief thought of mine that pertained to the topic.

Discussions

**"When seeking comfort is selfish" sparked quite a discussion. I remember a very heated discussion going on about this topic in class as well.

**While these next two entries may not have sparked a heated debate, they sparked Cherie's interest enough to comment, and include a link to the entry in her personal richly linked blog entry.

Timeliness

**My entry on the student/professor interaction, "When seeking Comfort is Selfish", started a discussion with the actual blog, and also with the agenda item posted prior to class.

Xenoblogging

**Gracias. After reading Jeremy and Tiffany's comments on the course website, I was fired up enough to write this entry. I needed to write the entry but was looking at comments first and after reading their comments, this is what developed.

**After Cherie had commented on my blog, I returned the favor, offering her a different insight on the Bush article.

It's Wild!!!

**This semester seems to be one that is full of learning for me. I am experiencing so many new things, and in the oddest sense, they are all tying together. See what i mean: My Communication Revelation.


Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2006

A Look at Seib: More Evidence of the Changing Face of Journalism

I had wanted to include my entire portfolio in this post as well. Also, the excercise two, a link to this entry and everything else will be posted on turnitin.com. Under media lab portfolio there will be my lab entry, my high school contact information, my agenda item, and a link to this entry. Excercise two will be posted on its own under Ex:2 Media Analysis. Here, in the entry body of my blog, i will post my richly linked blog entry, complete with links to my blogs on Seib. Inside the extended entry will be all of the long text: My high school contact information, my lab entry, excercise two, and my action item.

Moving onto Seib and how he is further evidence of the about-face of my career. For another class, EL236, i presented a richly linked blog entry about objectivity in relation to Journalism. I feel as though Seib is further physical evidence of this phenomenon known as: The About-Face of Objectivity..

How Seib represents this change:

Chapters 1 and 2: Seib discusses the phrase "too live" and whether or not aspects of the truth or aspects of censorship are to be the first and foremost concern of journalists. My take: Show me the gore.


Chapters 3 and 4: I was really only interested in a small segment of what Seib had to say in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 i didn't find anything worth discussing in further detail. Both of these chapters were a little dry for me thus resulting in a small blog entry on the delivery of the news locally vs. wordly, the dissatisfaction of viewers and a question to ponder: What is the definition of "bad news?"

Chapter 5: An Adventure of Emotion. The title and small blurb following it explain the entry. I covered alot of quotes/topics in this entry. Seib had me on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Seib, especially in Chapter 5, made me feel as though i were losing my job, which is a little bit worse than i felt in my about-face, when it was simply being reformed.

Information regarding the rest of my portfolio is contained within, due to its lengthy context.

First and foremost:

My high school contact info: Kiski Area High School- 724-845-8181

Lab Entry:

The first issue of the Setonian presented problems for Lori Rupert, and prior to this issue she “just hoped things would improve.”

“I don’t think that last time I demonstrated how crucial it was I be assigned an article or photos,” Rupert said. “I am very busy and therefore my contributions must be things I am able to do on my own time such as online work or something actually being placed into the print issue.”

According to Rupert, after last issue, she had gone to Evan Reynolds, online editor, and presented herself to help. She had explained her issues with time and explained how quick online stuff that could be processed on her time, within a deadline, of course, would be the best way for her to participate. Reynolds had emailed her some articles; she wasn’t able to make it to any of the events scheduled.

Thankfully, Valerie Masciarelli assigned Rupert an article on family day. Unfortunately, She had issues with this article. “I ended up not able to write it for lack of information. I had to work the day of the event and wasn’t able to attend and thus had difficulties finding students and families who were there,” Rupert said.

According to Rupert, prior to accepting the article, she had informed Masciarellil of my situation. “Lori told me from the very beginning that she might not be able to be present for Family Day, so I had no hard feelings that she was unable to cover the event. The paper had a lot of content, and so even though it would have been nice to have her article, there wasn't too much of a problem. I'd rather people be honest with me,” Masciarelli said.

Again, Rupert has not had much success this time around. “Third time is a charm,” Rupert said. She hopes to catch some online writing prior to next issue, but hopefully she will also acquire the authorship of the Brian Blasko follow-up article. “ I did bring it up to Amanda again, but she had said all of the political stuff was going in the next issue closer to the elections. I will make this request of her again,” Rupert said.

Exercise 2:

1. http://www.usnpl.com/ This link enables a user to find any newspaper in the United States. There is a list, by state, and the user can click on any of the states (which are links). This is important to me because it enables me to read worldwide news. I can therefore be more aware of what is going on in the world outside of where I am. A journalist should always be world savvy and know what is going on around them as they write. This can help them determine what content to cover, or that which maybe would be better off not published.

2. www.news.google.com Google news has a few interesting features that may provide useful to a journalist. First, a journalist could go to google news and search for a particular article via the search bar at the bottom of the webpage. Also, a reader/journalist can put news articles on alert. Then if any new articles pertaining to that subject pop up, a reader gets an email. This could be useful to journalists who are looking for coverage ideas, or maybe even looking to see if the topic has already been covered by an opponent. Also, if a journalist needs to read up on a certain topic, surely they can read the articles relevant to it and then be notified if anymore are placed onto the web.

3. http://www.usu.edu/journalism/faculty/sweeney/resources/ap.htm I had tried to go to the AP stylebook website, but turns out you have to be a member to actually get into it. This is an article by a professor and he discusses the tactics of the AP stylebook and includes some style guidelines within his article. Very informative, this site would be important to any Journalism student just starting the major, or even maybe a help to a stuck Journalism student who doesn’t have their AP stylebook. It is important and relevant because a journalist must live and breathe AP style.

4. http://www.foxnews.com/ This link could be important to Journalists if its blurb does as it claims, revealing breaking news and new coverage/content. A journalist would be able to stay up to date and on the utmost end of the information spectrum by using this site. Any site with current and constant coverage and updates, respectively, would be of good use to a journalist.

5. http://news.yahoo.com/ This link not only offers breaking news, good for those journalists seeking the news, it also offers current events and the “latest headlines.” There is also an analysis and opinion page on top stories. This would be a good thing to study, maybe to have more of a chance to define what news worthy content is.

College Newspapers
http://www.pittnews.com/ I really liked Pitts homepage. I like how the top story is featured in the very center of the page, although it is just a short blurb, there is also a photo and a link above the photo. The well written blurb and interesting photo make me want to click on the link and to read more. Also, they very plainly list all of their sections on the left side, along with an area to contact them. They have named it “interact”. I think this is a much more cozy word than contact. It is also a little bit more updated. Also, I really like how on the right side they list their most popular articles. These are all components of a good website. I think maybe we should try the top story center thing. That is the only thing they have in the center and causes the reader to focus solely on it.

http://www.pittnews.com/ Although we were supposed to pick two sites we would emulate, I chose this one because I would not take ideas from it. I don’t like that there are ads all over the page, practically hiding their “most popular articles” section. Also, they list all of the articles down the center, with links included. This makes scrolling very necessary. The sections are separated on the side, but why are they also listed down the center than? I don’t think an “issue summary” is necessary, it only causes for a reader to have to scroll more and I think all readers are smart enough to know how to use the links provided on the left side of the page.

I think we should revise the sidebars. For example, on the left, include a link to either course blogs, which than lead to other people’s blogs or a complete list of everyones blog organized in some manner. Then, perhaps, place the recent comments section on the right. I don’t think we necessarily need to know what is new on all the blogs. It is kind of irritating to see the same people’s names or blog names over and over again in a list of links. I would rather just have access to all blogs and pick and chose on my own.

Action Item

My action item: For my action item I would like to revise the website for my high school. If this would be acceptable that is. I really got frustrated with the website. Pretty much each page was the same and didn’t offer me what I needed: The contact information for the Professor in charge of the paper. I think that their site needs revamped. It did nothing but take me in circles to another page with the same information. I am going to work on a list of things I would change about it, discuss it with them, and see if maybe I could help with the implementation of those changes. I think it would be a good incorporation of my online html skills and also my contribution to a high school newspaper.


Posted by Lori Rupert at 3:51 PM | Comments (0)

Tisk, Tisk, why did you fisk, fisk?

Fisking kind of sounds like bullying. Attacking a subject, or object, hell, attacking a blog, which can provide no protection of itself or any sort of retaliation. Let's see, slamming into someones written word and expelling their worst mistakes or twisting their most sincere words in order to develop something potentially destructive? Okay, so maybe i am exagerrating a little bit, but i think that fisking is the online form of bullying, or over-analyzing, or analyzing without tact and style, the total annahilation of a piece without regards to feelings; I don't know how many other ways to express it. Aren't we all taught commenting style critiques when we first get our blogs? Aren't we all taught to criticize kindly and in a manner that will provide helpful to the author? These are some of the rules to English and writing. I remember being taught them, does noone else? Even if i am extremely angered by something someone says to me, i attempt to address the issue in a manner where i am explaining myself and why i disagree rather than attacking. Maybe i don't always come off as being critical in a kind fashion, but my intent is not, nor has it ever been, to "fisk" someone. It just sounds like a dirty word. I don't like it. It sounds like a mean and disrespectful word. I don't know if i could "fisk" a blog and truely put my heart into tearing apart someone elses "baby." Constructive criticism yes, full fledged fisking? No.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 2:06 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2006

The About-Face of Objectivity

"I felt like i was in a journalistically-twisted world" Now granted, everything in my world is a little bit twisted right now, It's senior year, it's insane. It tends to make one a little more insane though whenver they begin to feel as though they are in a world involving a skewed career, their career.

Allow me to explain. Freshman year, thinking and writing class. I had Dr. Jerz as a professor, so you can probably get secondary confirmation of what i say from him. I had a problem with writing essays. It wasn't that i couldn't grasp the subject, verb, paragraph, parallel sentences bit. I had a tendency to express myself. Dr. Jerz would tell me that while he enjoyed reading my creative papers, he really didn't think they qualified much as academic papers, like they were supposed to. Dr. Jerz and i used to discuss my voice and how i had to train it for several different types of writing. He said i had a great creative voice but used it in the wrong context, and often at the wrong times. I had to start from the bottom and learn to develop my academic writing-style voice while simultaneously learning to stifle my creative one. I don't even know if it was the fact that i used my creative voice at the wrong time or just simply overused it, or used it for everything because it was all i really knew.

As the year went on, i slowly began to write with an appropriate academic tone. I had involved myself with the Setonian and learned alot by being in the office and around the staff. My journalistic style began to take form, melding into a beautiful combination of proper style, with a smooth swirl of me, for added flavor. I often look back at my portfolio and see some of the first articles i ever wrote, which were class exercises, and i understand how much knowledge i have gained. The pieces are usually full of opinion and wordy or confusing sentences. Now, I know how to write in inverted pyramid style, i know how to punctuate my quotes, i know the three source rule, among many other things, i have gained knowledge of my career.
Alas, this is what i came to school for. To learn, to grow, to develop my voice, and i begin to feel as though i have.
Then, i read Hot Text. After reading Hot Text 7-8, although i begin to feel as though i were in a "journalistically twisted world", Karissa and i both discovered there was something keeping the Hot Text at a journalistic level: Inverted pyramid style. The next set of readings by Price sent me into a frenzy, I was supposed to be an opinionated journalist?!?

Price left me wondering with several quotes declaring i (meaning myself and the rest of his general audience)express myself as a journalistic writer on the web.

"Online news articles are "get-to-the-point news." Yes, back when we worked on the student paper, we all learned about this curious architectural phenomenon, the inverted pyramid, with all the answers to key questions frontloaded. But answering all those w-questions weighs down the lead. Postpone the date, location, even the particpants, if they are not central to the story."

"The best newspaper journalists are those who assemble the facts and write the story so it just seems to flow, while keeping themselves out of the story, distancing themselves by taking on the persona of "the reporter". This faux-objective approach works fine in newspapers, but is death on a Webzine".

While i agree with Price, the summation of my feelings is: While this may be true, considering on webzines people are looking for entertainment along with news, it is the opposite of what i am used to as a journalist. We are taught to write objectively, to act as though we have no opinion on any particular topic or topics. If we were to "have an opinion" we could be accused of biased writing. A journalist wants credibility and to be noted as fair to both sides of an opposing view. All that seems to be changing for webzines. Price is saying to have a voice. A strong one! Price says, "Not surprisingly, the sites with the strongest voice tend to have loyal readers". Yes, they may be loyal, but only because they think you are opinionated and feel a certain way towards a topic. Which, granted, you probably do, but won't that hurt a journalists repuatation in the news world? It seems as though a journalist is getting to the point of having to make a choice. Exactly which genre do you want to write in?

I feel as though my career, everything i have been taught, has experienced a flip. No longer am i being told that i am being too "subjective" or opinionated, but i am being told to be more so. Objectivity is no longer wanted from me, now they want my voice. I am the one responsible for keeping them interested with my attitude and presentation of material and myself. No longer is the news the source of interest, people are more involved in the presentation. So, do i adapt my voice again or just develop a separate segment for web-writing and then work on fine tuning the separate segments? Maybe that is what i initially did freshman year was develop a new segment (academic) and i didn't really "change" my original voice. Maybe i have just been learning to identify and properly use particular segments of my voice. Having the ability to vary myself for particular audiences is a useful skill. I give credit to several of my classmates for identifying their voices in particular instances.

Cherie, for example, discusses her frustration at being able to find her voice, but i think she does a very good job of displaying her voice in this entry. She integrates the ideas of several classmates and separates the topic into four specified voices: What *should* i say, what Price says, what my peers have said, and what experts say.

Karissa also does a great job of expressing her voice, when she discusses the rhetorics of fisking versus critical blogging, a topic related to her passions (grammar and arguments).

I also give credit to Jeremy; although he had doubts about blogging and minor problems with his blog, still managed to write some insightful blog entries and was attentive and into the material enough to comment on each topic on the course site.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2006

Flash Journalism: Constant Sniper Coverage

"Remember, Flash is not simple. You must give yourself time to build your knowledge and skill through using Flash; this will help you avoid frustration."

I love that McAdams freely admits this in the introduction of her book. Flash Journalism is such an easy read for me. It is interesting, well-explained, and quite easy to follow. Despite McAdams statement about the difficulty of the subject matter, i cannot agree with her. I, personally, had no difficulty with Flash. I had, i think, two minor problems, but none that constituted as frustrating. Also, i didn't really experience any road blocks that made me want to stop working with the program. To me, Flash is the easiest program we have worked with so far. Maybe it is because we haven't really gotten into yet, but i already feel as though i know what i am doing and the tutorials were simple and efficient. I managed to get through both of them in class. That said, I present my case study.

I chose to analyze Case Study 1, the washingtonpost.com Sniper Shootings. I thought this would be an interesting case to look at, and besides, i have a little story pertaining to the Snipers. I was a senior in high school when the sniper was in action. I was also dating a Marine at the time and my mother and some of his family were driving down to South Carolina to see him graduate from boot camp. In order to get there, we should have traveled the road, I-95, that some of these shootings happened on. We took a detour due to the sniper. At some point while i was down there, the snipers got arrested. I remember watching it on TV with my mom in our hotel room.

Anyways, i really like the aspect of embedded objects that this Flash Journalism package uses. I don't mean embedded in its' literal, definitive state, i mean in the sense of how much more a reader can come up with by clicking on a single area within this package. The close-up map, for example. I think it is necessary to show a large map with all of the shooting areas, in order to let people know exactly what is going on and where. However, i really like that if you click on a point of action within the larger scale map, you get a smaller scale of the particular area. This is extremely beneficial to the knowledge of the readers. It allowa them access to more distince information rather than the vague quality of a single, all-coverage map. I like how this method continued on into the close-up maps. For example, clicking the numbered marker and then information about the victim pops up. This information includes, from what i can see in the book photo, name, sex, age, location of the shooting, date, time, and a photo. The smallest detail, the time of the shooting, is included. While it may not have been a necessary item to include, it is one i'm sure readers will want to know. Even if it is out of simple curiousity. It is a small, manageable task most likely designed to make users happy, but that is the goal in online writing, making your audience happy.

I also liked that the windows of the victims were movable and detachable from the main window, but yet the main window still remained open and accesible. It was also interesting how the package grew to include specifics on bullets, when a bullet was found. The WashingtonPost took minute information and developed it into a learning experience for readers.

I am impressed with the detail the WashingtonPost implemented into their Flash Journalism package. Each window takes the reader into a smaller, more specified area, usually pertaining to a subtopic of the main topic. I think this is a great way of giving the reader control over the amount of information they view and process. They have a choice of how deep into the material they actually want to dive. Reader happiness is one goal for any online web writer or web media producer. Giving the reader this kind of choice is a great way of making them feel as though they are interacting and also as though they are in control.

Although I'm not sure what i want my final project to be, i think i am going to end up doing something with Flash Journalism. I really enjoyed reading and working through the tutorials and not only that, but i understood them as well.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 6:54 PM | Comments (2)

Hot Text: Opinionated Journalists

Both Karissa and I, agreed on the fact that earlier in his book, although we neglected to mention the chapter (maybe someone can figure it out by the context of the blogs?), Price seemed to be pushing inverted pyramid style onto web writers. Recognizing the significance of his point pertaining to the best, most important news being first, dwindling down to minute details, i immediately thought, "Inverted pyramid. Hmm..familiar."

However, the thing i discovered in Chapter 14, my interesting quote, is Price contradicting himself. I think we have discussed this topic in class before.....

"Online news articles are "get-to-the-point news." Yes, back when we worked on the student paper, we all learned about this curious architectural phenomenon, the inverted pyramid, with all the answers to key questions frontloaded. But answering all those w-questions weighs down the lead. Postpone the date, location, even the particpants, if they are not central to the story."

I would like to know how we can postpone the participants...are they not a central part of the story? Does the story really exist without particpants?

Everything Price says makes sense, don't get me wrong, it just tends to contradict other things he has said in previous chapters. I would go out on a limb and say well maybe he is talking about different topics, but sure enough, he is talking about web-writing. Although his information is provided for several types of web-writing, as a whole, shouldn't he be saying the same thing about it all?

Price expressing his interpretation of how things should be presented made me sort of feel like, again, as i had described in the blog entry i link to earlier in this post, that i am in a journalistically twisted world. He continues to make me feel this way on into Chapter 15.

Get Intense, Express Yourself is the title of the section. "The best newspaper journalists are those who assemble the facts and write the story so it just seems to flow, while keeping themselves out of the story, distancing themselves by taking on the persona of "the reporter". This faux-objective approach works fine in newspapers, but is death on a Webzine".

While this may be true, considering on webzines people are looking for entertainment along with news, it is the opposite of what i am used to as a journalist. We are taught to write objectively, to act as though we have no opinion on any particular topic or topics. If we were to "have an opinion" we could be accused of biased writing. A journalist wants credibility and to be noted as fair to both sides of an opposing view. All that seems to be changing for webzines. Price is saying to have a voice. A strong one! Price says, "Not surprisingly, the sites with the strongest voice tend to have loyal readers". Yes, they may be loyal, but only because they think you are opinionated and feel a certain way towards a topic. Which, granted, you probably do, but won't that hurt a journalists repuatation in the news world? It seems as though a journalist is getting to the point of having to make a choice. Exactly which genre do you want to write in?

Chapter 16-A resume. "The master resume acts as a repository for all your successes, all the details of your past jobs, so that you can pick the right ingredients to spinoff into a resume for a particular employer".

I really like this description of a master resume. I agree with what Price is saying here. Having a solid master resume that you took the time to build on your own, can be very beneficial. I didn't really have to put together a resume until i applied for an internship last Spring. I spent about four days putting together a resume and a cover letter. At some points, i spent 20 minutes composing one sentence. I read and reread my text, changing it so that it was more concise and interesting, and only taking up about a page. Despite the time it took me, i was very pleased with my work. I had thought that i had something i could base future resumes off of, but reading Chapter 16 made me focus more on this thought. I developed my resume on my own. I was looking at a template for a general idea, but i was also using websites that had examples and other sorts of "practice" resumes or resume tips. I researched alot of different resumes and put together my own. Mine is sort of based on a template, but i didn't like some of what was on the template so i changed it and i added things based on what i saw on other peoples examples. I came up with something original, something personalized to me, yet still classy enough to look professional. Price helped me to finalize the decision that yes, i can base my future resumes off of this. On my own time, i had developed this master resume that Price talks about. Of course i also knew that i would have to revise my resume to be personalized for each employer, but the most work went into assembling the resume as a whole.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 3:07 AM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2006

Seib Chapter 5: An Adventure of Emotion

While reading Seib Chapter 5, i found all sorts of topics that interested me and that i had thoughts on. I also happened to be an emotional wreck after i was finished reading. Seib took me from mild disbelief, to anger, with a varying range of feelings in between.

Disbelief

"The union of cell phones and the Internet promises to be a lasting one..."
"Internet use is being transformed from a high-tech excercise that many find daunting to just another convenience..."

Seib describes cell phones that have touch screen we access, television, a CD player and a browser, and notes that these devices are pretty much going to be the end of home computers. Considering that the new devices offer all of the features one could want in a cell phone, a computer, a CD player, and a TV, one could logically say that Seib may be right. I don't know how much i believe that electronic devices will be the sole piece of technology that one person lives by. For example, in a case such as an office job, is the boss really going to want an employee typing away on their cell phone all day instead of their computer? The computer is soley for work, but if using a cell phone in place of a computer, there are many other things an employee could do with their time. I can't really picture a cozy office with complete tolerance for having a cellular phone out, on, and accesible throughout the day.

I think that the internet has already reached the point of being a convenience. It is habit to most people, anyone who is particularly familiar with the internet, in fact. I know it has become such a normality to me, it is how i check my email, class syllabus, etc. I use the net for many purposes, most of which i wouldn't be so privleged to enjoy without the internet access. I can find out what my friends are doing, or just say hello (myspace and facebook), see what is going on with my mom, or a number of students that i am involved with, via class or the Setonian (email), i can research; the list goes on and on. I don't really think that anyone gets excited about going on the internet anymore. It has become a constant privelege to people my age, whether or not they are college students.

Happy, Suddenly Angry

"The quality of journalism will still be important and will distinguish any one news site from its competitors."

This quote made me all excited. Seib explains all of the newly advanced technological influences and one cannot help but think their job of choice (journalist) may be at risk. At least, their job in the traditional sense that it has routinely been known. And then, this quote made me feel better. Seib, buddy, was describing Journalism with a defensive tone, he even went so far as to defend quality and its related importance. Then, within pages, i was angry.

"Chat rooms can be useful to journalists in fashioning further coverage, but only in a decidely unscientific way"

Agreed. Wholeheartedly. With this quote, anyways. With the text surrounding the quote, not so much. Seib seems to be encouraging journalists to use the web, and to use chat rooms to their advantage, for quotes, for information, whatever. I don't think this is a good idea. At all. Weren't we all taught as journalists that we must find evidence that has been proven and that is solid, whereas online feedback may not be either of these things. Even as researchers, we were taught to carefully select our research methods and data and to be wary of the internet because of its availability and accessibility. Any information rendered from a chat room or other online communication site may be true, but it is more likely to be opinion rather than evidence based fact. People can say whatever they damn well please in a chat room, how is a journalist supposed to know if it is true? Also, if you were to quote someone out of a chatroom, who gets to decide whether they actually used their real name and can therefore be used in the article to be written? There is just too much "what if" questions to worry about when dealing with this. While a journalist may get some good information, chances are, by the time they weed out all that is bad, and spend the time sorting through the truth and the lies, how significant is the chunk of info they come up with?

Last one. "...some people may want to become self-made journalistsm enterpreneurs. They can set up their own Web sties, featuring their own version of the news..."

I get the whole way through the chapter. I've been through a whirl wind of emotions due to Seibs topics. Third to last page, and i read this quote. All i could think about was how i was headed for a job that was slowly (or not so slowly anymore) becoming obsolete. No, people cannot be their own journalists. That is my job. I'm going to school for it, i'm practicing it, i'm engaging in it. MY job. If people were their own journalists, or have the opportunity to become something of the sort, where does that leave me? Where does that leave us? Any and all who want to write and share these things for a living. People want simplicity on the web, the writer has to encounter every problem and fix those they are able, in order to make sure people have the easiest time possible when searching, researching etc. Why can't they want that simplicity with Journalism? Let me deliver the news for you, really, I am capable, and oh yeah, wait, It's my job.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2006

Hot Text: A Genre of its' own.

Genre. Wouldn't the genre be the specific name of the section you are writing for or in? Could this in any way be related to writing for your audience? I think that these two topics go hand in hand. When a writer is researching and excercising their marketing ploys, they have studied their audience or readers to quite an in depth point. They must base all of their writing on a topic or topics based on the discovered type of audience. I sort of think maybe Price should have discussed genres first. Discover or uncover or determine a genre you want to write for and then develop your audience base. Or maybe as you uncover more and more about a specified audience you start to develop a genre. Price says, "Writers don't start genres, audiences do." Wouldn't a genre then be simply writing for your audience? Which Price has taught us how to do for several chapters now.

"Better customer assistance might make their visits successful, encouraging another visit" So, now, as web writers we have to write in chunks, use lots of bolding and bulleted lists, make sure our paragraphs are short and informative and also, we have to be of service without actually being phsyically present. Chapter 12 represents another step in the process to making sure your website is simple and requires little thought or build up of confusion. I do agree that help should be provided everywhere. In every possible instance where a consumer might get confused, some sort of direct pinpointed arrow is neccessary. It is necessary to make the assistance as readily acceptable to consumers as possible because if they cannot find help, they may close the window and never return to the sight. There should probably be an entire page purely for help/troubleshooting, accessible from every other page on the site. Then, in the confusing spots, use links to define terms a consumer may be unsure of, use little pop up windows to describe what context things should go in (i.e. dates, on forms).

So it seems as if though marketing on the web has opposite characteristics than simply writing for the web. A few examples i found, "Avoid using regulations-issue phrasing. make the headline, opening, and quotes new each time." Just a chapter ago, we were being told to reuse headlines throughout each page to make the pages easier to navigate and make it easier to interpret what the page is going to reveal. Another example, "Provide more, not less". A reference to product descriptions. We had been told to write little, leaving only the most important information because people don't like to read as much on the web. In Chapter 13, small paragraphs, of course in relation to produict descriptions, are described as looking like, "dried up dog poop".

My conclusion: Marketing for the web is a completely different genre than simply writing for the web. It can be described as a genre because it has a sole focus (whatever the take is on the marketing campaign) and it has a completely different standard of writing ethics than are usually used.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 6:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 7, 2006

Hot Text: Chapters 9&10: Titles and Navigation

So is that a good title? It is informative and it lets my users know exactly what this blog entry is going to be about.

In all seriousness, I really enjoy being familiar with the topics we are reading online or in Hot Text because they are all related. It doesn't matter if i read online or Hot Text first, i am still reading about the same topics. I think that titles, obviously, go along with blurbs. There must be a definitive title, enough to catch a readers interest, and a small explanation of that title (the blurb) and then the whole explanation upon clicking the link. It reminds me what i was told when writing research papers: "Tell us what you are going to tell us, tell us, and then tell us what you told us" Online writing, particularly when dealing with the navigational aspects, seems the same. Tell us what you are going to tell us (the title/blurb), tell us (the content), tell us what you told us (Conclusion). I think titles are important and necessary, and blurbs as well. I know i look at the content online and determine whether or not to read it by my interest in its' title and the relevance to what i need to know about. Hot Text is easy, informative reading, and i enjoy how Price shows us a tactic and then describes what situations it is generally good to use it in. I also like the examples he provides.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)

October 4, 2006

Ex 3: High Hopes for a Game that Doesn't Suck

I actually reached an understanding of TGF2 when attempting the side-scrolling shoot 'em up game tutorial. I also enjoyed myself. I was actually doing work that produced something awesome. Something i didn't think that was so simple, although very technical, to create. I think that for my game, i want to attempt to make something learning related into a side scroller. While i may have said that Darby wasn't of much interest to me, I did agree wholeheartedly with Marion and the matter of serious games. Video Games are not bad. They can be, but they can also be good, as Marion describes. Also, i agree with the association of video games with so many different things now because i think kids need to be more aware of these real world events.
Hopefully, i can create some sort of "teaching" game. i know that i want it to be a side scroller and i don't want it to suck. I named my test file "mygamesucks". But i have a little bit of a better feeling now that i understand TGF2 a little, teensy bit better.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 8:33 PM | Comments (0)

Frustrated in Minutes and Still no Game

I agree entirely with Karissa on this whole Darby business. It took way more than minutes to even get to the initial game making stages. I don't think that Darbys opinions and history were as necessary as he thought. He definitely lost the majority of my interest quickly. So much padding. I had a little bit of trouble with interactive fiction, but got it, to an extent, a little bit later. The 2D and 3D game thing? I'm not so sure about. I was so lost the first day into it...i guess maybe i just needed to mess with it more or something. The last class though, i actually tried the tutorial on the side scrolling shoot em up games and it was like a light clicked on. I understood. I was doing it. I knew why and i knew how. And i was having fun. Gasp. Anyways, we will see how this really continues to go for me. Hopefully it is a skill i keep improving at and finding more and more enjoyable. I want to try. I want to learn. I think that this is a good skill to have, although i am not sure how exactly i will use it in my profession i still think it is something impressive.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 8:25 PM | Comments (0)

Seib: No News isn't Good News

In Chapter 3, page 82 to be exact, Seib discusses TV news being shown on the web. Particularly, local news, that which is used to cover the surrounding areas, that is also capable of delivering the information most influential to its' audiences. For example, the tornado warnings, or the winter weather advisories, these things affect the people in the area and therefore are some of the primaries that the local news covers. Viewers are not happy though; Seib quotes, "...[a study found] substantial viewer dissatisfaction...respondents cited repetition...and bad news..." Viewers are dissatisfied. The first question i have is: How do you define news as "bad"? It may be bloody, or hurtful, but if it is true and necessary to be known, how is it "bad"? Also, the audience for the local news is, well, locals. Why should outside audiences matter? They are not affected. And furthermore, if there were less news, viewers would probably try to claim lack of information. Seib states these local news stations are turning to the internet for "improve [ing] their product and expand [ing] their audiences. Why does your audience need to be bigger than "local"? What happens when local news stations try to be world news stations because that is what consumers of larger areas want? Than you piss of the locals. Sounds like an educated battle doomed to go back and forth. Who is the most important consumer? Determine your audience.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 5:43 PM | Comments (0)

Hot Text: When Blurb's the Word (Or would that be words?)

Dr. Jerz, your blurb text and Prices blurb text run pretty parallel to each other, with Price getting a little more persnickety about how much technicality he actually explains. Compliments of Dr. Jerz's website, "On the web, a blurb is a line or short paragraph (20-50 words) that evaluates (or at least summarizes) what the reader will find at the other end of a link." I think this is a very helpful thing. I think that blurbs are useful and i understand the frustration of a reader who encounters bad blurb after bad blurb. It is true, when you are using a search engine, you read the title and the blurb to see if it interests you and then base your decision to click on your initial interest. I know that is my personal style, and one would think that most people react this way to a search engine list. In a case such as this, I don't think the matter is laziness, as much as it is wanting (and needing) to save time.
There is also one point in Hot Text, I'm not sure whether it is chapter 7 or 8 honestly, i lost it, but Price is talking about linking and making keywords at the ends of the sentences on your page. Price says something along the linees of the natural emphasis for a sentence is at the end, so it is good to work with that. I remember thinking while i was reading that paragraph that i felt like i was in a journalistically twisted world. I felt like i was being told to write from right to left, rather than left to right or top to bottm. The paragraph tips are relatively similar to journalism though, starting with the important information first. It seems to me that Price wants us web users to write in inverted pyramid style, but neglects from using this particular term. Maybe he thought by using it, his audience would be narrowed down to only those with journalism knowledge. Or maybe he just didn't want to confuse people...I found the text we had to read for today relatively informative. Also, it was all related, which is the actual point i think Price is trying to make in his text (to have all paragraphs be related). I surely cannot write perfect blurbs yet, but at least i know what they are, what an audience expects and how to write them by being both informative and efficient.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 5:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 2, 2006

Project Proposal: Already a Familiar Idea

When i was trying to decide what to do for my project for EL236, i began to think that i wanted to put my portfolio online. I even discussed the subject with Cherie Saturday night when we hung out. I just haven't had time to post my thoughts and i saw today that Karissa has the same idea as i do. What i want to do is a little bit different than what she was talking about though. I would like to put my paper portfolio online. I think it would be cool to scan photos of the assignments with mark-up and such on it and then to write little blurbs about what i fixed or improved. I could also include an about me section loaded with links and probably a resume as well. I don't know if i would actually finish the thing but this is the perfect opportunity for me to preserve my work in a new way. I have wanted to do so for awhile now, i just haven't had the time. Having it due for class makes me have the time to work on it. I'm not really sure how i want to model my site, i just know that the one interesting thing i have found so far is the links that look like buttons. I would like to have a larger title bar and also some photos of me perhaps, along with ones of my assignments. The thought is still just that, a thought, so it has not yet begun to process in its' entirety but i most definitely want my project to be an online portfolio for none other than.....ME!

Posted by Lori Rupert at 7:08 PM | Comments (2)

Hot Text 5-6: A New Strand of Laziness

Yes, it is nice to go to a website and be able to navigate myself around with enough efficiency that i don' t become frustrated and lose focus on the task at hand. Surely, if i were to get frustrated, i would close the window or move on to another site, much as any other person would. The article Bush wrote, seems to be stating, in a general sense of gathered complaints, that the online community is becoming more difficult and complex. Apparently, from how i understood Price in these past two chapters, our job, along with defining our audience and communicating with them, is making the mutual experience between the two of us as simple as possible. The quote that sends me on my rant is this: "If you put extra thought into the relationship between the headings, you help people grok the structure without too much thinking" (Price 119). Although Price is speaking specifically about headings within this quote, i feel that the quote can be applied to online structure as a whole. We are now required to do the thinking for our audiences and present them with our findings in a laid out, easy to read/navigate manner. It is almost like we are doing the work for them and they are reaping the benefits. It sort of reminds me of someone getting a friend or such to do their homework and then present them with the final product.
It really makes me feel as though people are becoming more and more lazy. They can't even do a little bit of online searching? Maybe it is a time sense, maybe people don't want to waste the time on navigating through something when they should have been provided with direct access. I just feel as though these consumers we are supposed to be writing for expect us, as web writers, to do all the work for them. Why don't they want to think? Why don't they want to interpret? Why don't they want to learn?
On the other hand, by learning all of these things and doing them in order to provide an easier time for my consumer, maybe i am the one reaping all the benefits considering i am now the one who holds all of the knowledge and even further so, now i have gained more skills!

Posted by Lori Rupert at 2:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2006

A Scientist? Where?

There, there! In the classroom. Dr. Jerz! A scientist of our time today. This isn't a sarcastic comment, it is just the first thought that came to my mind when reading through this article. Much of the rest of it was quite dry to me and very hard to follow, thus, only small segments of it struck me and where sequentially retained.

Bush quotes, "It is the physicists who have been thrown most violently off stride, who have left academic pursuits for the making of strange destructive gadgets, who have had to devise new methods for their unanticipated assignments." This reminds me of Dr. Jerz. Familiar in his old ways, moving to another state to a small college and bringing the whole school into the rising technicalities of the internet. In a sense, maybe Dr. Jerz left "academic pursuites" behind for the "devis[ing] of new methods" in such a case as online content. Dr. Jerz, you are trying to the best of your abilitie to communicate the freshest ways that students can interact on and react to the internet. The changes are constant, but your courses change with the flow of technology so they can resemble the real world as much as possible. Is that possible? A scientist, by the definition of someone who introduced a technology into a small atmosphere? Dr. Jerz, in a sense, redefined the internet many of us used to know. I know, personally, i can now do so much more online than i used to be capable of. I don't know if anyone else agrees....
I do feel that the technology being taught to me now is quite important for my future plans. If it isn't as important as i think, maybe it will be so enough to get me that great job and than i can introduce it.......Either way, much of the text, wasn't retained by me, it didn't strike me in a sense that i wanted to hear it. I tried, but to no avail. While interesting at first, after reading the same sort of language without a little colorful (meaning, not monotonous) choice of words and phrasing, the passage tended to be quite tough to work through.

Posted by Lori Rupert at 1:02 AM | Comments (1)